Six people – including two teachers, a social work student, and a then-District Council election candidate – have been convicted of rioting in relation to a protest in Central on November 12, 2019. Three others were acquitted of the same charge, according to local media reports.

district court
The District Court in Hong Kong. Photo: Almond Li/HKFP.

Yip Tik-suen, Anthony Wong, Chan Ka-yu, Ng Pak-ming, Law Cheuk-yung, Wong Wing-yan, Chan Hin, Yuen Ho-hin and Yip Pak-hang, appeared before District Court Judge Frankie Yiu on Wednesday.

Chan Ka-yu, Wong Wing-yan and Yip Pak-hang were cleared of rioting. Of those convicted, Chan Hin was additionally found guilty of breaching the mask ban.

The mask ban was introduced in October 2019 by then-chief executive Carrie Lam using powers prescribed by the Emergency Regulations Ordinance. The prohibition barred the use of face coverings “likely to prevent identification” at lawful rallies and illegal assemblies.

Apartment maintenance

A toolbox containing two lighters, seven hex keys, two wrenches, a can of spray paint and screwdrivers was found inside the backpack of Law Cheuk-yung, a social worker who ran for Tuen Mun District Councillor in 2019.

The current vice chairperson of the Tuen Mun District Council, Lemon Wong, testified in court that Law’s equipment was to help Tuen Mun residents with apartment maintenance, local court news outlet The Witness reported.

However, the judge said it contradicted the District Councillor’s previous claim about Law, who was said to be at the scene because he wanted to count the number of Central-to-Tuen-Mun bus routes affected by the protests, according to the same report.

Law Cheuk-yung
Law Cheuk-yung. Photo: Law Cheuk-yung’s Facebook.

Besides the rioting charge, Law was also found guilty of possessing the toolbox with intent to destroy or damage property, which is punishable to up to 10 years.

Couple running errands

A young married couple were among the trio found not guilty of rioting and released after the trial. Chan Ka-yu, the husband of Wong Wing-yan, had said he was heading back to his workplace with his wife to return a bracelet, according to previous local media reports.

Handing down the ruling, the judge called the couple’s move to wear masks that day had been “suspicious,” adding, however, that it was not sufficient to rule out the possibility that the duo was merely innocent passers-by.

Waiting for the background reports for the convicted defendants, the court adjourned their mitigation and sentencing to June 23.

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Lea Mok is a multimedia reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously contributed to StandNews, The Initium, MingPao and others. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.